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Overview

The words "Far North Queensland" appropriately conjure mental images crowded with rainforests, white sand and coral reefs. Regional travel typically begins in Cairns, whose saltwater lagoon is usually submerged by a tide of international visitors. This tourist town offers an overwhelming number of Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, diving and glass-bottom boat options, plus a delicious multicultural restaurant scene. North of town, a series of superb beaches stretches past glossy Palm Cove. The waterfalls, pinnacles and limestone caves of the Atherton Tablelands to the southwest of Cairns are well worth a slow drive, a highlight being the Millaa ...

The words "Far North Queensland" appropriately conjure mental images crowded with rainforests, white sand and coral reefs. Regional travel typically begins in Cairns, whose saltwater lagoon is usually submerged by a tide of international visitors. This tourist town offers an overwhelming number of Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, diving and glass-bottom boat options, plus a delicious multicultural restaurant scene. North of town, a series of superb beaches stretches past glossy Palm Cove. The waterfalls, pinnacles and limestone caves of the Atherton Tablelands to the southwest of Cairns are well worth a slow drive, a highlight being the Millaa Millaa Falls which plunge into a beautiful swimming hole. Northern Queensland’s tropical rainforests are at their most spectacular in the Daintree region, particularly at Cape Tribulation, where the wonderfully dense greenery fringes the Coral Sea. You’ve come this far, so you may as well push on past Cooktown and head up the magnificently remote Cape York Peninsula. The rough drive to the northern tip of the continent is one of Australia’s great overland journeys.

Paul Smitz
About the Expert

Paul Smitz has coauthored a dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet on places such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, various Pacific Islands, Prague, and Brussels.

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Paul Smitz for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: This region is located on the northernmost tip of the state of Queensland, in northeastern Australia.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Australian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to November, outside the region’s monsoonal wet season.